Buma/Stemra and Sabam, performing rights societies in the Netherlands and Belgium, respectively, say they are going to investigate possibilities for increased organizational cooperation.

Buma/Stemra and Sabam, performing rights societies in the Netherlands and Belgium, respectively, say they are going to investigate possibilities for increased organizational cooperation.

The initiative, described as a first among European copyright organizations, is designed to help tackle the slide in mechanical rights revenues due to declining CD sales.

Over the next few months, working groups from both societies will consider various aspects of potential cooperation, including streamlining and cross-border collaboration in the collection and processing of information.

"With this initiative, we hope eventually to achieve such economies of scale that we limit the loss of income for our stakeholders, the creators of music," says Buma/Stemra CEO Cees Vervoord in a statement.

"Performing rights societies in Europe have frequently talked about opportunities for cooperation," says Sabam CEO Jacques Lion. "But these initiatives have usually died an early death because of the complexity and the cultural sensitivities of such an operation. We are looking forward to the first research results."

A Buma/Stemra spokesperson adds, "The fact that we're going public with this underlines our determination to make it work this time."

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